"This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst."

Brick and mortar stores closing at record levels

#Money

Mon, Apr 24th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Zero Edge, 2017 has already broken all records with 8,640 stores closing — Bebe stores being the latest casualty. And while high rents and a shift to online purchasing may be the cause, the decline of the middle class might be a reason: people don't have enough money. Check out also Dead Malls.

The over-storing, including the influx of fast-fashion and off-price chains, has resulted in a brutally competitive landscape that made difficult for retailers to raise prices. “A pair of men’s dress pants costs less today than they did a decade ago,” Manny Chirico, chief executive of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger parent PVH Inc., said in a recent interview.

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Then there are retail rental rates, which across top US markets, such as New York, remain the highest in the world. For years, retailers could afford the egregious demands by landlords. But as overall traffic and volumes have declined, this has also prompted an exodus of outlets even among the most desired locations, leading to a surge in "fors rent or lease" signs popping up in unexpected places like Madison Avenue's "golden mile."

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